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With more and more availability of services, Web service composition (WSC) based SOA implementations have increasingly become a significant type of SOA projects in practice. However, effort estimation for such a type of SOA project can still be limited because of the numerous and various approaches to WSC. Through viewing WSC based SOA system from a perspective of mechanistic organization, this paper borrows Divide-and-Conquer (D&C) as the generic strategy to narrow down the problem of effort judgment for the entire SOA implementation to that for individual WSCs. Moreover, benefiting from an effort-oriented classification matrix and a set of effort-related hypotheses, we assign scores to effort factors of WSC assisted by a set of rules. These effort scores are used to facilitate qualitatively judging different effort between different types of WSC approaches, and eventually construct an effort checklist for WSC approaches. Finally, this effort checklist can be used together with D&C algorithm to realize the qualitative effort judgment for WSC based SOA implementations.